Companies in dark over litigation costs is the title of an article on the Financial Times web site today (login required). It tells of an Ipsos Mori survey commissioned by Addleshaw Goddard.
The survey’s subject-matter was more specific than the title implies. The state of unawareness refers not to the costs themselves but to the litigation funding tools available to help, such as after the event insurance.
76% identified costs as their top concern (what bothered the rest, one wonders?) but only 10% seemed to know about the possibility of third party funding and only 2% had actually used it.
Like everything else to do with litigation decision-making, it has to be worth being acquainted with all possible sources of funding. It is even more important, one would think, to know what your prospects are before committing resources to a case and (which is a necessary precursor to that) knowing what documents you have which may support or undermine the case.
The survey is a helpful window on low degree of investigation which companies make before embarking on a course which (76% of them say) worries them greatly. Repeated surveys suggest that fewer than half of all companies have any pre-emptive measures in hand or planned to head off some of the costs by, for example, instituting a document readiness policy or a litigation readiness policy. That 76% figure would be more credible if one had any sense that corporate Britain is taking seriously the major head of cost – handling their documents – which it is in their hands to reduce.
Thanks to Mark Surguy at Pinsent Masons in Birmingham for pointing me to the article.